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Old 01-29-2013, 09:44 AM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 3
guitarist88 HB User
frozen shoulder=surgery to cut bicep? shoulder surgery advice please

Hi everyone,

my MRI shows possible rotator cuff small tears, and a superior labral tear with posterosuperior extension and diffuse labral degeneration. And tendentious and arthritis, of course. Did PT for 8 weeks, seemed to help at first, but then started to hurt again, and they told me to discontinue.

Just saw my shoulder doc again yesterday, says my shoulder is badly frozen, and next step is either a cortisone shot to kill the pain and work the hell out of it in PT, or proceed right to surgery. He thinks surgery is the way to go.

What's news to me is that he wouldn't be operating on the labral tear, and probably not the rotator cuff tears, either. "We don't do surgery on SLAP tears in someone your age (50), and not on the rotator either, unless it is really bad. We'll cut one of the heads of the bicep to unfreeze the shoulder, then you have to work the hell out if it in PT."

Needless to say, that was stunning, and scary. So, any of you guys with experience in this area heard of this? My instinct is to not do it, cutting my bicep sounds like an extreme solution, to say the least.

He did say frozen shoulders can come unfrozen also sometimes, with work. I'm more inclined to go back (I did 2 months before discontinuing due to pain a few weeks ago) and do extensive PT to try and unfreeze it before I consider undergoing this procedure.

Really trying to avoid surgery, as I am self-employed guitarist and guitar teacher, and they say rehab is 3 to 6 months--without playing, and therefore without making any money, which I can't really swing right now. Not to mention, it would be depressing as hell to not do what I do best for that long.

I'm still doing the posture exercises--shoulder blade squeezes and neck tucks. Right now I have to sit while playing, as I can't really have weight of guitar and strap on my left shoulder. Otherwise, it doesn't affect my playing very much, only when I try to carry equipment, walk with a gig bag on, etc.

Hoping for some opinions from people who have had similar issues, especially anyone who has successfully avoided surgery. A friend has suggested a massage therapist who is supposed to be quite gifted, but I'm a bit gun shy about that.

Thanks for your help!


Last edited by Administrator; 04-01-2013 at 08:03 PM.

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